Low levels of purpose in life are leading causes of depression and anxiety among the youth during covid-19 pandemic in Kenya since March 2019. This study analysed the association between purpose in life, depression, and anxiety during the COVID-19 period (2019-2021). Primary data was collected from a sample of 380 youth in Kibra Constituency, Nairobi City County. The sample size per ward was arrived at through proportionate sampling technique. The study used Purpose in Life Test to measure levels of purpose in life and the Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale to assess the level of depression and anxiety. Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were used to analyse quantitative data with the help of SPSS version 23. Findings from the study showed that, participants had 89.3% low, 4.0% moderate, 6.7 severe levels of anxiety while, on the hand, 53.6% had severe, 11.7% moderate, 34.7% mild levels of depression. The finding also showed that Female were more depressed at 36.8% than male 28.5%. Furthermore, the study found that respondents had 77.1% low levels and 22.9% high levels of purpose in life. Depression and anxiety combined, the participants had 60.8% low, 25.1% moderate and 14.1% severe levels. The study concludes that, depression and anxiety were induced by lack of purpose in life. Anxiety and depression were related to each other to a very larger extent. The study recommends that, Ministries of Education and Health need to initiate policies on mental health intervention mandatory for Kenyan urban slums to counter the negative influence on psychological health. Findings from this study can be useful to psychologists, psychotherapists and counselors to create more awareness of purpose in life among the youth.
Key words: Purpose in life, Youth, COVID-19 Pandemic, Depression, Anxiety